Thursday, July 26, 2012

2012: The Summer without Water

So dry, I haven't been whitewater kayaking in weeks. WEEKS! Can you believe that?

I thought I could manage without water. I turned to mountain biking, climbing, ultimate frisbee. Anything I could do to keep myself busy while the rivers dried up, I did. I even started running. You know, the "sport" you play where no one ever wins and you end up back where you started...

Anyways, I did enter a SUP race last weekend at Mountainman's first annual(?) SUP festival. I placed 3rd, which was also last in the Men's division. The guy who won it had never been on a SUP before, and the guy that got 2nd was at least two decades older than me. Great ego boost...

If we don't get significant rain soon, a new horror film may be in the works.
Drought: A Kayaker's Nightmare

In the meantime, enjoy my spring recap edit!
(Up at the top there...)
Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Canada and "Almost Canada"

Since I left the west coast roughly a month ago, I've spent the majority of my time in Canada or Northern NY, which is almost Canada. Despite the widespread belief that our neighbors to the north live in a cold and barren tundra, there's actually some reasonably good (REALLY FREAKING AWESOME) whitewater up there.

Now don't get me wrong, I won't be making poutine a regular part of my diet and saying "eh" at the end of every sentence any time soon (that's almost as bad as "y'all"), but I think it's safe to say that my passport is going to get a good deal more use before the summer is through.

First up was the Cheticamp. Ben Schott, Mike Mainer, and I had planned on getting a source to sea first descent on this one, but low water thwarted our attempt in the last 6 miles or so. Nonetheless, it was a huge accomplishment to get as far as we did, and I'll have a full TR with more supporting photos after I find out if I'm going to be famous or not. Until then, feel free to salivate over these shots...
The first "real" rapid, and out campsite for night 1.
Yours truly dropping into the committing one
Mike Mainer photo
we named this one Mike's Panties, I'll leave you in suspense for now...
Mainer on the last big was basically Metlako...
After a long 3 days of hiking/hucking and another 2 days of driving, I headed back to "Almost Canada" for something a little easier. I settled into a routine of safety kayaking and raft guiding on the Black River.
My family promptly took advantage of my guide status...
Before long, the river had reached dismally low levels, and Tony G and Chris Morelli convinced me to seek water elsewhere. And where better to seek it than one of the largest rivers in the east?

So we loaded up some Pyranha Jeds and rallied to the Ottawa after our respective rafting trips. The 4 hour drive turned into a 5 hour drive while Tony experienced some "difficulties" crossing the border. Nevertheless, we made it to a campground under cover of darkness, and woke up in a field full of tents and playboats. After a breakfast of fruitloop-peanutbutter sandwhiches and some help from the locals, we were on the river and headed to Garb...after a short detour.
Dirtbags for life!
Garb is a great place to learn to blunt...
It does most of the work for you.
Morelli going big. 
"Hey hold on a second, I'm about to go huge"
Tony throwing down some nasty Pan Ams.
All told, I spent $30 on the trip. There's a reason I'm chief dirtbag...

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I am a freelance writer and photographer, collector of experiences, adventure lover, and outdoor goer.